The United Arab Emirates believe their Pool B match against Ireland in Brisbane on Wednesday offers them a “wonderful opportunity” of a World Cup win, according to batsman Khurram Khan.
Both associate or non-Test nations know each other well, having played each other repeatedly in various lower-level International Cricket Council competitions.
The UAE, the only amateur side in the tournament, impressed before going down by four wickets to Zimbabwe first time out while Ireland beat the West Indies by the same margin — a result no longer classed as an ‘upset’.
Both teams will fancy their chances at Brisbane’s Gabba ground and Khurram said Tuesday: “I think it’s going to be a very important game, obviously.
“They’ll be targeting us. We’ve played lots of games against them,” added Khurram, who made 45 against Zimbabwe.
“I think it`s a wonderful opportunity because it`s a very important game for us as well. So we`re definitely targeting this game.”
Asked where the team needed to improve most on their performance against Zimbabwe, Khurram was clear.
“Definitely I would say in the fielding. We missed three run-out chances.”
Meanwhile Khurram insisted the UAE were an amateur side in name only, saying: As we`re here, we`ll enjoy our time and be as professional as we can.
“Obviously we have jobs back home, but once you`re here you completely forget about the jobs and what`s behind the scenes. We`re here to win as many games as we can.”
The UAE are also unusual in having two 43-year-olds in their squad in Khurram and captain Mohammad Tauqir.
Not that either man was in a mood for a birthday party.
“We stopped celebrating after 40, actually,” Khurram joked.